For many people going to Court is a foreign experience. Most of us, have very little, if any dealings with the Court system, and many of us know what we know from the media or American TV shows, like Law and Order, Suits and other shows about court-room drama. Going to Court when relationships end and people are unable to resolve their issues, is nothing like what you may imagine.
In Australia at present the Family Law system is under-resourced and is a slow and expensive process. Notwithstanding this knowledge and information, people continue to believe that Court will give them what they want only to find that most time they are disappointed or did not get what they expected.
1. Mediation will assist you and your former partner to meet in a private and confidential environment to discuss your concerns. Court is a public environment, and anyone over the age of 18 years is permitted to sit in the Court room. All your personal details are exposed and there is nothing you can do or say about that.
2. You will have the assistance of an impartial, neutral and child-focused mediator who is trained to manage high conflict situations and help you look at the future rather than the past. Going to Court is a regressive, not progressive experience, because to make findings or determinations in the adversarial system, the Court has no choice but to look back into past behaviours and conduct.
3. You and your former partner control the process and the outcomes. Going to Court means following the timetable and directions of the Court. There are documents to file; appointments to attend and directions to follow. The experience for many people is emotionally overwhelming and can impact all areas of their lives, include their work, future relationships and even their ability to focus on the care and upbringing of their children. Please don’t under-estimate the negative and deleterious impact litigation has on our lives and way we live our lives.
4. Even if you are successful at Court and you feel like you have gotten an amazing result, the feeling can be very short-lived, especially where the other person is not willing to comply with the Court Orders or directions or halfheartedly follows them. You will find that when people enter into negotiations in a mediation process, then they are far more likely to follow their own agreement. It also creates a new way of relating to your former partner and it is a healthier and progressive approach especially in parenting matters.
5. The costs of mediation, even if you must go back a few times to tie up loose ends is better than the alternative of court. No-one can predict with certainty what the legal costs will be, because it depends on so many factors such as court time-table, the other persons lawyer or the difficult nature of the issues. I know one thing for sure, the money is far better spent on accessing professionals, mentors, coaches and counsellors that will help you manage conflict manage expectations and assist you with moving forward.
The information provided in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are a firm of family law specialist who promote and encourage our clients to Mediate, Collaborate and take a win/win approach to their family law matters.
We run Healthy Divorce Seminars which teach and empower our clients to handle difficult situations and move forward with truth, courage and freedom.
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